Hope Contagium

A therapy journal of self-obsession, depression and meaning.

Tag: work

Angels

Sometimes angels are sent to you from the heavens above. Sometimes they appear as completely normal human-beings.
Well I met an angel today. She was sweet as honey with a pure heart of gold. Her approach to me was gentle and being around her was like being embraced by kindness.
My day had been eventful in the simplest matter and now I had a few obstacles to endure. My face was red in various places, it was worn out from recent activities, I hadn’t had the chance to eat for 24 hours and I could feel the lack of food weakening my body. I couldn’t stand straight. I almost felt that I either could faint or vomit from the hunger.
She told me she had chocolates in her purse and that I’m welcome to have one. A little chocolate might help, I thought. She disappeared for a while, only to return with a golden package as long as my hand. Twix. The whole bar was for me. She hid it in the bottom drawer, since work would prohibit me from indulging freely, and left again leaving great generosity floating in the air.
As I sat down to investigate the Twix more carefully, I felt a certain jump of adventure. I opened and took a bite. I closed my eyes as I chewed. I could taste heaven. Her heaven.
Thank you Sofia.

Forget, work, love

‘Depression is under the skin, all the surface of the body has the depression just below it, and we cannot take it out; but we can try to forget the depression even though it is right there.’ […] ‘There is a final step,’ she said to me after a long pause. ‘At the end, I teach them the most important thing. I teach them that these three skills – forgetting, working, and loving – are not three separate skills, but part of one enormous whole, and that it is the practice of these things together, each as part of the others, that makes a difference. It is the hardest thing to convey’ – she laughed – ‘but they all come to understand this, and when they do – why, then they are ready to go into the world again.’

 – Phaly Nuon, The Noonday Demon (2001), Andrew Solomon

The Gummy Bear

“I’ve got something for you,” Randy says. He sneaks something small in my hand without looking at me. I look down. It’s a gummy bear. Flavor: white (pineapple). As Randy walks away with a pile of clothes I exclaim in surprise and pleasure and quickly throw the gummy bear in my mouth. It is so delicious. Sweet and fruity. I don’t stop working. I keep going, though my concentration is out of focus. I push clothes around as I chew that wonderful, white gummy bear. Today has been so stressful, so exhausting. But for the next seven seconds I am happy and nothing at all is bad in my life. All my problems are solved. Thank you white gummy bear. Thank you Randy.

All This Optimism

I’m gonna take another shot at this “happy moments” thing. Today I’m a bit more positive and I’ll try to focus on glorious moments or small victories. Like the time my little sis was crying because she felt stupid about erasing a game she had been playing with Mama. I was a master in comfort! First, I reminded her that everybody does stupid things and that those stupidities teach us lessons. Then I distracted her guilt and sadness by telling her a story about when felt really stupid. She stopped crying and it was easy-peasy over with! Oh, did I mention that my first step was to pick her up and give her a hug? What a good job. I’m gloating because I usually have an anxiety towards physical touch and a very hard time accepting my little sisters sadness – something I’ve always been ashamed of.
Another proud moment was when I picked up seven children, one by one, and lifted them over the fence so that they could get a good look at the passing by tractor. Even the fat kid got a couple of turns – and let’s face it: I don’t got a lot of muscle. I was so good with these kids. I took them on adventures in the playground, they learned from me and I always included everyone of them.
How about the time I took a five-year-old and her father home in the middle of the night? They were strangers and the father was inappropriately drunk and made disgusting sexual gestures towards me. But this little girl was sleeping on the cold floor of the central station and I couldn’t have it. I held little Nou-Nou in my arms all the way home so she could sleep comfortably, I gave them a bed to sleep in and food in the morning. Yes, I thought they were homeless when they weren’t, but nonetheless it was a beautiful gesture. Let’s not forget that it’s only thanks to Levin the gesture became a reality!
But hold on – when have I been happy and not just done good? When did I do good for myself?
Well, I like myself when I finish a book, then I feel I’ve done well. The time I worked in Urban Outfitters AND worked as a dresser at fashion week was pretty impressive (considering my depressive state).
So sitting here thinking, being positive, makes me realize:
“Okay, so good things do happen and quite a few of them.”
They’re just so darn invisible in all this darkness. Remember your dreams Marmaladescreams, your real dreams. They are beautiful. And all this optimism is thanks to my new contact person Zenia.

A Farewell

I would like to thank all of you who are here, and all of those who cannot be. I shall not forget you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have brought you here today with a great deal of emotion to tell you some important news concerning my personal life and my work. At 18, I was lucky enough to become assistant to Christian Dior, to succeed him at 21 and to meet my success with my very first collection in 1958, 44 years ago in just a few days. Since then I have lived for my work and through my work. I am very proud that women around the world wear trouser suits, tuxedos, car coats and trench coats. I tell myself that I have created the modern woman’s wardrobe, that I have taken part in the transformation of my times. Forgive me for drawing any vanity from this since I have for a long time believed that fashion’s role was not simply to make women more beautiful but also to reassure them, give them confidence and allow them to assert themselves.
Every man needs aesthetic ghosts in order to live. I have pursued them, sought them, hunted them down. I have experienced many forms of anxiety, many forms of hell, I have known fear and terrible solitude, the false friendship of tranquilizers and drugs, the prison of depression and mental homes. I emerged from all that one day, dazzled but sober. Marcel Proust had taught me that ‘the splendid and pathetic family of the neurotic is the salt of the earth‘.
I did not choose this fatal lineage, yet it is what allowed me to rise up in the heaven of the artistic creation, frequent what Rimbaud called ‘the makers of fire‘, find myself, and understand, that the most important encounter in life is the encounter with oneself.

Even so, I have chosen today to bid farewell to this profession that I have loved so much.”

– Yves Saint Laurent, retirement speech, 2002

Numb

I have now reached the state of numbness. It feels empty inside. Life has once again overpowered my strength and forces me to go on. After my cleaning job I feel a slight peace. But everything is temporary.

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